Credential Engine Task Groups

Credential Engine Groups

This image illustrates the general structure and relationship of Credential Engine groups:

Task Group Structure

Task Groups are special-purpose groups that exist for as long as they are needed, rather than continuous standing groups like the TAG and AWG.

Current Task Groups

The following are current Task Groups in Credential Engine:

Pathways Constraints Task Group

The Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) enables the linking of education and career pathways components to depict routes to a destination. The CTDL Pathway terms were initially developed to support use cases where there are fairly simple conditions for progressing through routes in a pathway. Over the last two years, the Credential Engine team has analyzed numerous education and career pathways with our partners and published some pathways to the Credential Registry.

The analysis of pathways has verified the need for CTDL to support use cases with more complex conditions and constraints. As a result, a draft proposal has been created to seed discussion and development of a robust constraint expression capability for CTDL. The Pathways Constraints Task Group will refine the draft proposal including validating complex use cases for pathway conditions and constraints and extending the domain model and terms.

Join the PCTG

Credential Engine follows a clearly defined, open process to make significant updates to develop the CTDL. This process includes subject matter and technical experts forming short-term task groups to provide valuable input (typically 8-12 weeks). You are invited to join our new Pathways Constraints Task Group. The work of this task group supports the goals of Credential Engine’s state partners and other agencies and organizations who are working to improve the education and training data ecosystem.

The PCTG will:

  • Define a mechanism for formal constraint expression that is conformant with RDF and Linked Data principles and amenable to machine interpretation and ultimately to constraint enforcement.
  • Identify and document existing, real-world types of constraints in machine-actionable form.
  • Identify real-world use cases for complex pathway route conditions and constraints.
  • Provide real data examples for complex pathway conditions and constraints.
  • Provide input to expand the CTDL domain model and create additional CTDL terms where necessary to address complex pathway route conditions and constraints.

Who: The PCTG is for:

  1. Subject matter experts (SMEs) who define education and career pathway routes and conditions
  2. SMEs in development and application of constraint expressions in machine-actionable form, and
  3. entities that utilize data to depict pathways or want to consume data that can be utilized to generate depictions of the pathway.

When and Where: The PCTG will hold its first meeting the 1st week of March, 2022, and approximately six times, every other week for one hour, and conclude in May, 2022. The one-hour meetings will be held via Zoom.

Resources: Credential Engine will create and provide all resources needed for this work, based on PCTG input, and share them for ongoing feedback between meetings. All feedback and materials are transparently available following an open development process.

Outcomes: The final products of this work include the constraint expression mechanism, the use cases, real-world examples as instance data, CTDL domain model and terms with definitions, and usage guidance. The products are all public information made available via the Credential Engine technical site and where appropriate, on GitHub and available under open licenses. All subsequent updates to the CTDL will follow the Significant Update Policy. The policy requires formation of the Task Group, input by the Credential Engine Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and other advisory group members and stakeholders, and a comment period. This efficient process ensures orderly changes that support and expand the durable, persistent value of CTDL Linked Open Data. Once this process is completed, the CTDL family of specifications will be updated along with the Credential Registry publishing and consuming tools. The Registry and related tools and resources are freely available for stakeholders to publish competencies and skills, competency frameworks, and related data.

Credential Approval Lists

State and Federal government agencies and other organizations are tasked with approving credentials and their associated education and training programs for funding and inclusion on lists such as Eligible Training Provider Lists, Approved GI Bill, industry-recognized credential or high-quality credentials lists, and others. Currently, that work is siloed within and across state lines but can be better streamlined using a common data infrastructure. Credential Engine technologies already support describing credentials and associated data using a common language as Linked Open Data, publishing that data to the Registry, and allowing multiple states and agencies to reference and show quality assurance processes. The next step in the evolution of the CTDL is to identify any gaps in functionality to support state and federal requirements and to include information that communicates why a credential is on the list and recognizes that credentials can come off the list once criteria are no longer met.

Credential Engine follows a clearly defined, open process to make significant updates to develop the CTDL. This process includes subject matter and technical experts forming short-term task groups to provide valuable input (typically 8-12 weeks). You are invited to join our new Credential Approval Lists Task Group. The work of this task group supports the goals of Credential Engine’s state partners and other agencies and organizations who are working to improve the education and training data ecosystem.

The CALTG will:

  • Identify real-world use cases for approving functions.
  • Provide real examples of how approving functions and data are currently used and how they could be improved.
  • Provide input to expand the CTDL domain model and create additional CTDL terms where necessary to address.

Who: The CALTG is for subject matter experts who oversee, regulate, review, use, report on, or apply for state education and training funding. For example, ETPL administrators, training providers who are approved or want to be approved for state funding, state leaders who develop “Industry Recognized Credentials” lists, and others. We also welcome federal representatives who oversee relevant federal regulations. Prior knowledge of CTDL is appreciated by not required.

When and Where: The CALTG will hold its first meeting on October 27, 2021, and meet no more than six times, every other week for one hour, and conclude in January 2022. The one-hour meetings will be held via Zoom.

Resources: Credential Engine will create and provide all resources needed for this work, based on CALTG input, and share them for ongoing feedback between meetings. All feedback and materials are transparently available following an open process.

Outcomes: The final products of this work include the use cases, real-world examples as instance data, CTDL domain model and terms with definitions, and usage guidance. The products are all public information made available via the Credential Engine technical site and where appropriate, on GitHub and available under open licenses. All subsequent updates to the CTDL will follow the Significant Update Policy. The policy requires formation of the Task Group, input by the Credential Engine Technical Advisory Group and other advisory group members and stakeholders, and a comment period. This efficient process ensures orderly changes that support and expand the durable, persistent value of CTDL Linked Open Data. Once this process is completed, the CTDL family of specifications will be updated along with the Credential Registry publishing and consuming tools. The tools include the open-source Competency and Skills System (CaSS). The Registry and related tools and resources are freely available for stakeholders to publish competencies and skills, competency frameworks, and related data.

Closed Task Groups

The following are Task Groups that have concluded their work:

Contextualizing Skills and Competencies

Clearly defining and communicating the skills and competencies for credentials, programs, and jobs can lead to more equitable learn-and-work ecosystems that recognize everyone’s specific abilities. In order to achieve this, we all need clearly written skills that are contextualized with additional information, providing a valuable currency across education, training, and employment. Open skills that are published on the web using Linked Open Data support connections among the skills, credentials, jobs, and more. The Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) and the Registry provide a freely available, shared Linked Open Data structure for publishing open skills and their rich connections to other data.

The CTDL already supports data structures for describing competencies and skills, competency frameworks, alignments among skills, and rich metadata for contextualizing competency frameworks and related information. The CTDL also provides structure for linking competencies to credentials, courses, programs, assessments, transfer value, education and career pathways, jobs, work roles, and learning and employment records. The next step in the evolution of CTDL is to support additional rich metadata for individual competencies and skills.

Credential Engine follows a clearly defined, open process to make significant updates to develop the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL). This process includes subject matter and technical experts forming short-term task groups to provide valuable input (typically 8-12 weeks). You are invited to join our new Contextualization of Skills and Competencies Task Group (CSCTG). The work of this task group supports the goals of the Open Skills Network, T3 Innovation Network, and other initiatives and organizations advancing the development, sharing, and reuse of skills and competencies as linked data.

Tasks performed by the CSCTG:

  1. Identify real-world use cases for individual skill and competency statement contextualization. The contextual information is important to correctly interpret the intent, purpose, use of, or authoritative sources for an individual skill or competency statement.
  2. Provide real examples of skill and competency statements with contextual information.
  3. Provide input to expand the CTDL domain model and create additional CTDL terms where necessary for the meaningful contextualization of individual skill and competency statements.

Who: The CSCTG is for subject matter experts who create, manage, reuse, share, consume, or align skill and competency statements across learning and work domains. For example, skills architects, curriculum developers, assessment developers, HR or other job information managers, military and industry training developers, and others who work with skills and competencies. We welcome managers of data specifications who would like to participate and align their data standards to the resultant use cases and CTDL terms. We also welcome product and service providers who support skills and competencies and want to incorporate CTDL into their solutions. Prior knowledge of CTDL is appreciated by not required.

When and Where: The CSCTG began on Thursday, June 24, 2021 and meet no more than six times, every other week for one hour, and concluded in August, 2021. The one-hour meetings were held via Zoom.

Materials: Credential Engine created and provide all resources needed for this work, based on CSCTG input, and share them for ongoing feedback between meetings. All feedback and materials are transparently available following an open process.

Outcomes: The final products of this work include the use cases, real-world examples as instance data, CTDL domain model and terms with definitions, and usage guidance. The products are all public information made available via the Credential Engine technical site and where appropriate, on github and available under open licenses. All subsequent updates to the CTDL will follow the Significant Update Policy. The policy requires formation of the Task Group, input by the Credential Engine Technical Advisory Group and other advisory group members and stakeholders, and a comment period. This efficient process ensures orderly changes that support and expand the durable, persistent value of CTDL Linked Open Data. Once this process is completed, the CTDL family of specifications will be updated along with the Credential Registry publishing and consuming tools. The tools include the open source Competency and Skills System (CaSS). The Registry and related tools and resources are freely available for stakeholders to publish competencies and skills, competency frameworks, and related data.

Transfer Value Task Group

Now more than ever, people need to combine education and training from multiple sources in order to continuously re-skill and upskill in rapidly changing careers. Unfortunately, most people do not get the full benefit of transferring their learning achievements to apply to further education and career advancement.

This group helped develop the CTDL Transfer Value Profile terms that can be used by all types of organizations to signal value across all types of learning programs and credentials. The group needs participants to provide transfer value use cases and recommendations for how CTDL can support valuable transfer value “currency.” The group provided required community review, validation, and feedback before making this new profile a permanent part of CTDL.

Education & Training-to-Jobs Task Group

With our rapidly changing economy, it’s critical to address the need to improve linking of education & training to jobs.

This group helped develop the CTDL job terms to be used to show the connections between education and training to credentials to jobs. Currently the CTDL can provide rich descriptions of connections to occupation classifications such as O*NET, but as our ever-changing economy has proven, we must also have explicit connections to jobs. This is not intended to describe resumes or Human Resource system content, but it will enable linking skills, competencies, credentials, learning opportunities, assessments and other opportunities to jobs. This means that credentialing organizations can better show connections to jobs and employers can better signal the credentials, skills, and competencies for jobs both in the Registry and on the Web.

Pathways Task Group

The Pathways Task Group convened on July 11, 2019 and finished its initial work January 2019. Between January and February 2019, the process for garnering feedback was followed, and on March 1, 2019, the initial Pathway terms were included with the CTDL.

As uses cases arise that compel determination of additional terms, the input process will be followed. To see a grouping of the Pathway classes, click here. In particular, note the Pathway Classes and Pathway Component and Subclasses. These groups are a helpful way to organize information for users. CTDL classes are shown in alphabetical order via the Classes section of the CTDL terms page.

See also the Pathways Task Group Charter.

Employment and Earnings Task Group

Two closely-related groups, collectively known as the Employment and Earnings Task Groups (EETG), convened on February 7, 2019 and closed in September 2019:

  • The Employment and Earnings CTDL Data Model and Terms Group
  • The Employment and Earnings Data Policy and Practices Group

See the Employment and Earnings Task Groups Charter.

In Scope

The following is within the scope of the EETG:

  • Credential Engine's scoping interest lies in the definition and description of the labor market value of credentials as indicated by aggregate-level data and metrics describing the employment and earnings of credential holders.
  • Employment and earnings data sources and the construction of performance metrics that are important in determining data quality and trustworthiness and improving metric comparability and data integration that are relevant to the EETG subgroup that would address guidance for ensuring data quality.

Out of Scope

The following is outside the scope of the EETG:

  • Other labor market indicators, such as:
    • whether employers signal that they require, prefer or otherwise recognize the credential, and
    • whether a quality assurance organization (e.g., industry, professional or labor organization) endorses or recognizes the credential
    • whether the credential is intended to prepare an individual for growing or high-demand occupations with average earnings above a chosen threshold.
  • Development and sharing of individual-level data of credential holders (this is out of scope for Credential Engine entirely)

Employment and Earnings CTDL Data Model and Terms Group

The Employment and Earnings CTDL Data Model and Terms Group has the following tasks:

  • Agree to Charter and Plan.
  • Participate with 4 - 5 webinars.
  • Work in coordination with EEDPP.
  • Identify additional use cases.
  • Gather examples.
  • Explore existing and emergent models.
  • Review and provide feedback on domain model.
  • Develop and review terms with definitions.
  • Review encoded (e.g., JSON-LD) examples.
  • Iterate back with the full TAG at significant junctures.
  • Develop consensus for approval to go forward.

Employment and Earnings Data Policy and Practices Group

The Employment and Earnings Data Policy and Practices Group has the following tasks:

  • Agree to Charter and Plan.
  • Participate with 4-5 webinars.
  • Work in coordination with EECDMT.
  • Identify, gather, and share existing sources of guidance and best practices.
  • Develop recommended guidance and best practice for use by Credential Engine, the Credential Registry, and its partners.
  • Based on this guidance and best practices, provide input to EECDMT Group about what terms and descriptors should be addressed and included in the CTDL.
  • Develop consensus for approval to go forward.